What the critics said…
“THE MOST EXCITING SINGER IN THE WORLD”
She [Genaux] might be the most exciting singer in the world. Sinewy but lithe, her voice encompasses a wine-rich chest register, juiced up with just enough testosterone to keep things interesting, as well as luminous high notes that would do many a soprano proud. Her Italian is crisp and peppery, and she rips through pages of runs and embellishments with jaw-dropping ease.
Her version of Arsace’s aria from Semiramide is among the finest ever recorded, with her voice darting and weaving through Rossini’s splendid wind writing to dazzling effect.
In short, it’s a compulsively enjoyable recital, but beware: This is a disc that can only leave you wanting more.
- Marion Lignana Rosenberg, Time Out New York,September 18-25, 2003
Operaphiles can breathe easily. Vivica Genaux – the Alaska-born powder-keg mezzo-soprano who’s sung in four San Diego Opera productions since 1997 – is a worthy successor to the pretty-much-retired Marilyn Horne, arguably the world’s foremost bel canto mezzo of the past four decades. All Genaux, who will be back in San Diego in 2006 as Sesto Pompeo in Handel’s Julius Caesar in Egypt, needs is a bit more volume to her wonderfully controlled voice so brilliantly showcased in this recording’s 10 arias and/or scenas by Rossini and Donizetti.
Her most dazzling roulades, arpeggios and trills are evident in ‘Mura felici’ from La Donna del Lago and ‘Eccomi alfine in Babilonia…Ah! Quel giorno ognor rammento’ from Semiramide. Beautiful singing, indeed.
- Preston Turegano, San Diego Union Tribune
November 6, 2003
The brilliant young American mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux – still unfortunately known to local audiences only through her recordings – makes a wonderful splash with this new collection of bel canto arias by Rossini and Donizetti. She’s a dashing sort of singer, combining the slightly unruly temperament of an old-style diva with the clean delivery and conscientious technique of the modern American singer.
Coloratura display is her strong point, and in the glittery Rossini showpieces from Cenerentola, Semiramide, The Barber of Seville and others, she lets fly with plenty of vocal pyrotechnics.” “…a largely impressive and hugely appealing release.”
- Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle
October 5, 2003
After her remarkable homage to Farinelli on harmonia mundi (ranked a 10 in Répertoire, No. 158), one impatiently awaited the new recital from Vivica Genaux. Here it is, on Virgin this time, entirely dedicated to Rossini and Donizetti, two composers whom the young America mezzo-soprano has regularly served since her first appearances onstage. From beginning to end, the singer’s technical mastery is astonishingly impressive, virtuoso throughout her range, never trapped by a roulade, by the leap of an interval or by a grupetto.
- Richard Martet, Répertoire, October 2003
A healthy beauty, a shining face and a voice possessed of a rare sensuality – here is the new star brought to us by Virgin Records. Vivica Genaux sings arias that are well-known, but ideal for judging the quality of a voice. And the voice of this young mezzo will surely seduce you in selections from operas by Donizetti and Rossini, particularly in La Cenerentola.
- Author Unknown, La Nouvelle République du Centre-Ouest, October 22, 2003
This young mezzo-soprano garnered attention last year for a CD of arias for the castrato Farinelli. This year, she devotes herself to two masters of bel canto, Rossini and Donizetti. Vivica Genaux shows off her talent and versatility, managing these Italian arias with remarkable warmth and mastery.
- Author Unknown, Écho d’Aujourd’hui, November-December 2003